Thanks for your patience this week. A few more doctor visits, and hope to be back on the mend! (Happily, no heavy-duty painkillers, though even I succumbed to the need for Tylenol.) In the meantime, I’ve gotten some light organizing done around the house thanks to my need to wander about, as sitting down for very long is still uncomfortable—the week has not been a complete loss. Lifting things has been rough, though, making me all the more grateful that I taught Ben to haul things around for me in his collie backpack! Plan ahead, dear hearts, for it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark!
One thing I had to finish despite the accident were the baby shower invitations for my sister, and I thought I’d share them with you here since I’ve obviously not been working on any photography. Mom had long ago asked for my help with planning the shower, and I was thrilled to oblige (oblige, nothing!). Some difficulties arose due to the distance, but Mom still wanted me to create the invitations and offer other creative input, and of course I am thrilled to help!
I’d suggested a bumblebee-laced theme for the shower, and Mom ran with this, so it follows that bumblebees would be part of the invitations. Oddly, no one seems to have ribbon or cardstock with a honeycomb print—you’d think they would, this time of year, but alas, there was not anything bee- or honey-related to be found. Sitting at the drawing board rather late in the game, I managed to come up with something I think still looks pretty.
The hardest part of the invites, despite the stamping and embroidering and making of paint-and-thread bees, was getting the text itself to align properly on the cards. Boy, what a pain! Half of the ink in my printer went to getting it right, well after it looked perfect on the template. It was hopping onto my little step-ladder during the alignment process (hi, I’m Jen, and I’m vertically challenged) to see how things looked coming out of the printer (which is way up high for a 5′-tall gal) that I had my fall, so yours truly is a bit biased against printing invitations at home right now. Next time I’ll have someone ELSE print them, then do the fun (read: safe) stuff!
For the all-important honeycomb, necessity led me to create a honeycomb stamp myself, using an eraser and a carefully wielded blade. The small nature of my “stamp” and, of course, the handmade nature of the invitations themselves means that the stamping is not “perfect”…The hexagons hardly ever matched up flawlessly and some of the scrappy bits of the stamp thanks to my deciding at the last moment to cut off one edge-row of the hexagons show because the bits ended up getting the ink on themselves (as you can see in the top photo), but…Well, really, I like it even so. I do and aim for ‘perfect’ a lot, and sometimes, we’re just human. In a weird way, those odd bits floating along the edge of the honeycomb add a little warmth, though next time I’d get rid of the “floaters”!
To be honest, the bumblebee bit was pretty simple; initially I considered making the bee out of felt, but thought that would be too much texture and too much fabric with the feathers and embroidered “bee trail”. Instead, I settled on just using a round sponge to create a round bee with acrylic paint—which was a bit bubbly after I whipped two colours together (perfectionist? Who?!), so when the bee’s body dried, there was still texture, but not as in-your-face as felt would have been.
I then embroidered the bee’s “trail” in blue (baby boy!) as well as the bee’s jacket and antennae. My favourite part of the invitations, though, is the wings, which you can see I made out of feathers! I simply cut them to the correct size for each bumblebee (due to the process, some bees ended up being a bit more plump than others) and glued them on with dries-clear glue, then embroidered the bee’s jacket over the ‘wings’. This last bit required my pulling some of the feather back to the front of the card, which will teach anybody to have still more patience than they thought they needed. 😉 But who cares? I do love feathers, and they’re so fun! Now, that is texture.
The invitations arrived yesterday, and Mom seemed quite happy with them—and she loved the feathery bumblebee wings (whew!). To be honest, I doubt the mom-to-be will like them, but we can’t please everyone, we can only do our best! I think they’re cute, but still a little…hm, “elegant” is not right. They’re not cute-sy, which is not really what Mom was going for. So far as the back, I had a very simple, very tiny butterfly stamp already in my studio, so I threw a couple of butterflies onto the back of the invites, flitting around the floss, just in case anyone flips the card over to see what it looks like.
By the way, embroidering paper is pretty simple. Last year I made Hubby a map of all our travels—by embroidering our route for each trip, each year in a different colour. The best way to embroider paper in my experience is to just use a needle or pin to punch holes in the pattern of what you wish to embroider (if it’s very intricate and done on blank paper, as these were, I suggest a trial run first); for these, I made a template for the bee’s trail on one of those mis-aligned invitations to make life a bit easier.
I’m also quite glad there were only 18 to make!